Qatar Petroleum is planning to invest around $20 billion in the U.S.' oil and natural gas sectors, the president and chief executive officer of the state-owned petroleum company said Sunday.
Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, who is also the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, said his country would invest approximately $20 billion in the U.S. over the next five years in various projects, according to Qatar's English daily newspaper Gulf Times.
"In the U.S., we have very large investments ... We think the U.S. has a huge potential in production going forward, and for a very long time. So we are looking at investing there," Al-Kaabi said at a plenary session on 'New Age Energy Policy: A Balancing Act' at the Doha Forum on Sunday.
The small Arab nation, which is the world's liquefied natural gas (LNG) champion for 12 consecutive years, aims to have additional LNG exports in the U.S., in addition to focusing on conventional and unconventional upstream oil and gas projects, Al-Kaabi said.
"We have invested in the Golden Pass LNG Terminal. We are in the final stages, assessing with our partners to take a final investment decision on the project. And that should be coming in the next few weeks," he said.
“If that goes ahead…that will be an increase of about 60 million tonnes of LNG exports that we will be part of, in addition to the 110 million tonnes of LNG exports that we are reaching in five years or so," he added.
The Golden Pass LNG Terminal near the Sabine Pass in the U.S. state of Texas is capable of importing around 2 billion cubic feet (56.6 million cubic meters) of natural gas per day, according to its website.
It is a joint venture formed by Qatar Petroleum with a 70 percent interest, while ExxonMobil has a 17.6 percent interest, and ConocoPhillips has a 12.4 percent interest.
"We plan to grow our production from 4.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to 6.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the next few years," Al-Kaabi said.
"In my view, it is a conservative strategy; we are working very hard to achieve that. We are already almost at that target," he added.
Qatar announced on Dec. 3 that it would quit OPEC on Jan. 1. After being a member for 57 years, Doha said it would focus more on LNG investments and projects.
The announcement came after Qatar faced a political and economic blockade by its fellow Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia. The new Saudi crown prince Muhammad bin Salman targeted Doha for its ongoing Syria policies and Iranian connections.
Al-Kaabi said on Sept. 26 that his country plans to increase its LNG production capacity per annum from 77 million tons to 110 million tons.
“Qatar Petroleum is looking nationally at long-term growth and strategy for production, which can be sustainable for generations ...We are called a national oil company, but I see ourselves being transformed into an international oil company, and an international player. We want to go for viable projects and long-term projects," Gulf Times quoted him as saying.
"We are long-term planners and think of the long term horizon. You have to broaden your spectrum, if you really want to grow in the oil and gas business," he added.
By Ovunc Kutlu
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